In a fiercely fought competition, the Society has won the overall title of best whisky in the Scotch Whisky Masters competition for 2019, along with eight gold medals

Reading Time: 2 minutes

If the Scotch Whisky Masters are designed to assess whether Scotch whisky can satisfy the thirst for excellent quality, experimental styles and a variety of flavour profiles, the answer from this year’s awards is a resounding yes.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was praised for its high standards, quality and diversity of flavour, picking up a total of eight gold medals across five categories, as well as the overall accolade of Taste Master for Cask No. 35.226: Nocturne du Elgin en B flat minor.

The Society's Cask No. 35.226: Nocturne du Elgin en B flat minor won the 'Best in Show' Taste Master award in the Scotch Whisky Masters.

The title of Taste Master is given to the one exceptional whisky once all the judges have re-­tasted and ranked all of the Master medallists, allowing the judging team to choose an overall favourite. Judges described 35.226: Nocturne du Elgin en B flat minor, a 32-year-old Speyside whisky that was matured in a first-fill hogshead before being transferred to an ex-oloroso hogshead for a final two years, as “deep expressive and focused” with “lovely spices on the finish”.

“With a total of 16 Master medals awarded and an impressive number of Golds and Silvers, there was no denying the strength of the competition,” said Amy Hopkins, editor of awards organiser The Spirits Business and chair of the judging panel. “A relatively even spread of top scores throughout the different rounds also indicated that quality is prevalent across all regions, styles and price points in Scotch whisky.”

Cask No. 53.289: 'Speck-tacular' won Gold in the Single Malt: Islay - Cask Strength category at the Scotch Whisky Masters.

The Scotch Whisky Masters accolades come just days after the SMWS won awards for all five whiskies entered in the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) competition.

“That’s what I’d call a good week,” said SMWS spirits director Kai Ivalo. “Our members already know all about the consistent quality of our one-off single cask, single malts – but for the uninitiated, there’s never been a better time to join us and discover the delights of whisky drawn straight from the cask. What are you waiting for to come and join us?”


Single Malt: Speyside – Single Cask

35.226: Nocturne du Elgin en B flat minor – Master – Taste Master

72.56: Maturing in style – Gold

46.72: Jungle slippers – Gold

Single Malt: Lowland – Single Cask

50.99: Sheer perfection – Gold

Single Malt: Highlands & Islands – Single Cask

77.47: Delicatessens and old libraries – Gold

4.249: The mermaid’s marmalade – Gold

Single Malt: Islay – Single Cask

53.277: Yeast feast – Gold

Single Malt: Islay – Cask Strength

53.289: ‘Speck-tacular’ – Gold

10.162: Big wave sofa – Gold

For the full list of results, visit